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My Inspiration to Make a Difference

Updated: Aug 9, 2023

Hello W.I.N. Community!

My name is Divya and I am so excited to be a part of this amazing organization and interact with you all! I recently joined W.I.N. as a marketing intern and wanted to share a bit about myself! I am originally from California (the Bay Area) and currently here for the summer. I will be an incoming junior at Purdue University, but am actually hoping to graduate a year early to get a headstart on my career and maybe grad school (fingers crossed!). At Purdue, I am majoring in Brain & Behavioral Science, minoring in Design & Innovation, and pursuing a minor in the Applications of Data Science (it’s a very exhaustive list, I know!). I chose this degree plan because I am intrigued in the intersection of cognitive science and technology, and how it can be applied to provide innovative solutions in the workplace. This summer, I was searching for a valuable opportunity that will allow me to expand my skills and learn from business professionals and this position at W.I.N stood out to me in particular.

I feel that W.I.N.’s goals and mission to support women in their career journey aligns with my personal values and interests. As a woman of color in STEM, I have noticed that the field is very male-dominated, which makes it difficult for women like me to feel comfortable and feel that what they have to say is not important enough. Earlier this summer, I attended TiEcon 2023, which is known as one of the largest technology conferences designed by Silicon Valley leaders. Right off the bat, I noticed that most of the speakers and attendees of the conference were men. At the end of one of the panels, there was a Q&A session, and a speaker asked if they could get a woman to ask a question since all the past questions were asked by men. I was a lot younger and less experienced than everyone else, so I felt especially intimidated to ask a question and hoped another woman would step up to the plate. My male friend who I went to the conference with was sitting next to me and encouraged me to stand up. I thought of a question to ask, but decided to keep quiet because I felt that it was dumb. Some time passed and everyone was silent. Suddenly, someone stood up, which caught the attention of the person passing the mic around. I looked over in curiosity and saw a man standing up. “I’m not a woman, but I have long hair, so I can kind of pass off as one,” he said, causing everyone to chuckle. As he was asking his question, I frowned and whispered back to my friend, “Maybe I should’ve asked my question. I don’t know why I was second-guessing myself.” Later, at another speaker event, the CEO of NextDoor, Sarah Friar, described her journey of reaching this high position as a female entrepreneur. I have always been passionate about becoming successful in the workplace, but this brought a recent surge of inspiration to stand up and make a difference.

By being involved in the W.I.N. community, I am positive I will have access to valuable resources and meet ambitious people so that I can achieve this goal. The opportunity to learn from accomplished women leaders, gain hands-on experience, and participate in empowering initiatives fills me with both anticipation and gratitude. I am committed to making the most of this internship, pushing my boundaries, and acquiring the skills necessary to become a successful advocate for positive change and equity in the workplace. I am so beyond thrilled to be a part of this community, where we can uplift, empower, and inspire one another. Looking forward to meeting with you all and learning from each other!

With immense appreciation and excitement,

Divya Sarkar

Purdue University:

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